Thursday, 6 October 2011

Chosen Path and Art

The latest meme in the blogosphere (at least of blogs that I read) is about a chosen path, labels, titles and names.

Gordon inadvertently started it by writing about how Chaos magic is enough for him. His article was about also about 'big versus small magic', about re-discovering how weaving magic in to everyday life can lead to some amazing moments of realization. Gordon has in my opinion done some amazing things with chaos magic, I still re-read on occasions his articles on shoaling (see link, link, link). Using the 'making art' metaphor, he can do things with crayons that can make you smile like an idiot or move you to tears.

Jason, at strategic sorcery, followed it up by picking out the part of Gordon's article that focuses on the successes with a chosen path. His gift is seeing the underlying patterns behind different techniques and he's woven them together in such a successful way that he's for the moment managed to turn it in to a career. For an example of the range of styles of Art that he can teach – see this post.

Jow joined the discussion with this post about Names, Titles and Labels. Having a think about his blog posting made me come up with the metaphor of Art and artists. Some artists focus on one way of channeling their creativity, for example becoming masters of light in schools for painters. Other can do things with clay that defy belief, whilst others still pour out their creative talents in to multiple art forms such as pop art, sculpture, scrimshaw, etc.

Rufus Opus at Head for the Red responded by pointing out that during his travels in his spiritual development - he has taken a number of different routes. His use of different techniques made me question whether it is meaningful to call someone a painter if in addition to working on canvas they also work with for example sculpt clay, carve wood and etch on stone? Then again, is label of worker of Art or artists just too broad?

Over at the Lions Den is yet another blog post about picking a path. It reminds me of what my martial arts instructor said about "there being many paths up the mountain". After a certain point you have to start to climb using the techqnieu that bests suits you. Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation) starts by describing 32 mystcial paths, the Hebrew word for path used is Netivot rather than Derech. As Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan explains in his commentary it means a personal route rather than a public route.

Whilst I've read bits and pieces on Druidism, Shamanism, Witchcraft, Golden Dawn, Grimoire magic and Tarot/Divination – I decided after some deep thought to pursue a magical career in Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. Legends of the Golem had fascinated me since childhood and I wanted to “try to understand the technical specifications of the blueprints of Creation/Reality”. To understand how the metaphysics of creation fit together and how can I experience that?

As I returned to the practice of the religion/faith of my people I decided that even though this would be a narrow path with numerous limitations on what should and should not be practiced – it would hopefully in time give me a practical understanding and experience of being a Kabbalah technician (so to speak). After some consideration the name “Trainee Golem Builder” came to mind and it sounded more tongue in cheek, but behind that is a desire to develop into a technician of metaphysics in the field of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.

Finally returning to the Art and artists metaphors, in my opinion it does not matter so much what the label is for the maker of the art or the type of art. What interests me is how the art is made.